Since long before Governor Cuomo ever entered public life, he has been an
outspoken advocate and reliable supporter of New York's large Jewish Community.
Governor Cuomo's pro-Israel record is one of the strongest for any public
official in the nation. According to the Jerusalem Post: "There is something
unique about New York's Governor Mario Cuomo's devotion to the Jewish state and
the Jewish people. Cuomo has been a friend in need, often taking lonely and
unpopular positions in Israel's defense."
The Governor has been devoted to creating a strong economic bond with Israel.
In 1989, he formed an International Partnership Program between New York and
Israel. And in 1994, he established the New York-Israel Economic Advisory
Partnership Advisory Board to promote business and technology exchanges, and
joint business ventures. Thanks largely to the Governor's efforts, New York
currently does over $1 billion dollars of business with Israel every year.
To further strengthen these ties, plans are now moving forward to open a New
York State Economic Office in Israel.
The Governor has always been a vocal opponent of the Arab boycott. He has
insured that New York does not do business with companies that support it, and
during his visit to Japan, he urged business leaders not to comply with it.
New York was the only state to be represented at the "Technology 93" trade
fair in Tel Aviv.
To ensure the enactment of state programs and policies that effectively serve
this community, he created the office of Assistant to the Governor for Jewish
Affairs, a cabinet-level position.
Despite strong opposition from the Republican State Senate, Governor Cuomo
continues to push for a law that will stiffen the penalties for bias motivated
When Suri Feldman, a 14 year-old girl was reported missing from her Boro Park
community, Governor Cuomo took a personal interest in her rescue, urging the
State Police Superintendent to do everything possible to find her.
The State Division for Human Rights' Crisis Prevention Unit strives to
eliminate bias-related violence through mediation and conflict resolution
training, a 24 hour bias victim hotline, and assistance to schools in planning
Governor Cuomo has made sure that the rights of New York's kosher families
are always protected. He has consistently pushed for stronger enforcement of
kosher regulations and expansion of information for consumers, producers and
marketers. He also established the Kosher Food Advisory Council. As a result,
product certification has increased twenty fold over the past 15 years.
The Governor has also demonstrated his sensitivity to Jewish history by
leading the fight to insure that the state's public schools develop and
implement a Holocaust curriculum.
Thanks to the Governor's support, over 25,000 New York State public high
school seniors saw a screening of "Schindler's List". The screening was coupled
with a discussion of hate and bias.
Governor Cuomo signed into law the "Hatzolah Bill" allowing Hatzolah, a
Jewish-run ambulance company, to continue its important work of providing vital
EMS service and expand its service into Nassau and Suffolk.
The Governor signed into law the "Autopsy Bill" which takes religious
objections to autopsy into serious consideration.
Because Jewish law requires a speedy burial, the Jewish Community needed
protection against the delays that often result from legal holidays or strikes.
Governor Cuomo provided that protection by signing the Stavisky Bill -- which
facilitates a speedy burial in many instances -- into law.